Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

March 5, 2009 -

A non-gaming case currently before the United States Supreme Court stands to have a massive impact on the video game industry.

The case is American Needle vs New Orleans Saints, et al. Should the Supreme Court find in favor of plaintiff American Needle, an apparel manufacturer, EA's exclusive NFL licensing deal and Take-Two's third-party exclusive with Major League Baseball could be found in violation of federal antitrust (i.e., monopoly) statutes. Such a determination would free other publishers to make games based on the NFL and MLB.

SCOTUSblog, which tracks happenings before the Supreme Court, reports on the case:

The NFL used to license American Needle to sell hats that bore the logos, the names or other insignia of pro football teams... But, in 2000, the NFL opted to solicit bids for an exclusive license to produce caps and other headwear.  Reebok won the bidding, and in 2001 got an exclusive ten-year license.  American Needle’s license was not renewed. So it sued the NFL, all of its teams, NFL Properties, and Reebok.

American Needle’s case was thrown out by lower courts... “The [Supreme] Court has stated, on more than one occasion,” American Needle asserted, “that application of the Sherman Act to professional sports teams is wholly consistent with Congressional inent...”

What happened to American Needle in relation to apparel is essentially what happened to Take-Two in regard to its excellent NFL2K series when EA scored its exclusive license with the NFL in 2004.

Attorneys for EA are clearly tracking the American Needle case. The phrase "American Needle" appears nine times in a transcript of arguments made by attorneys last November in Pecover vs. Electronic Arts, a class-action suit which alleges that consumers were hurt by EA's NFL exclusive (see: Spirited Courtroom Argument Highlights Madden Monopoly Case).

SCOTUSblog reports that the Supreme Court has requested government lawyers to weigh in on the case.


Comments

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I'm Rooting for the Exclusivity Deals to be dropped by the supreme court(That'll Teach EA and T2 a lesson for hogging the NFL and MLB)

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

This wouldn't be a good thing.

It's the same as saying that McDonalds has no right to the Big Mac.

Private Bussiness is private the last thing we need in this time is more branches of government saying what can and can't be done, and guess what this works for these industries since the NFL,EA, or Take 2 haven't asked for a bailout.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I'd love to see these exclusive deals get dissolved. Take Two has done an awful job with the MLB license on 360, and I'd love to see "The Show" come to 360. 

Bottom line is that competition creates better products. I'm all for that.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

Um, shouldn't the NFL have the right to say who can and can't use their IP?

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

Wouldn't the NFL teams, players, and logos, fall under IP? IP holders have a right to give exclusive rights to anyone they so choose.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I think the use of the players, teams and logos for the purpose of a football-themed... thing... is protected by the IP.

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste | Needs a thesaurus. |

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I believe it counts as IP, but EA has exclusive deals with the NFL and the NFLPA (as well as the coaches union I believe); the former for the use of the team logos, stadiums, etc. and the latter to use the names of the players.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I think the Supreme court Justices are going to make fun of the fact that EA held a monopoly on NFL games Heres the possiblility

John Roberts: We the court has found that American needle has been found in violation of the Sherman and Clayton Acts and therefore we demand that the company should be split up

EA & T2: We're F@**ED, we may have to share the license of MLB and NFL now

END TSG-esce courtroom reenactment

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

"Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony"

Hm... I guess they can make a point there. I wonder what statements those are though.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I don't think that the EA+NFL or 2K+MLB suit would work out because it's a temporary exclusive. On top of that, I belive for any anti-trust suit to pass through the product being tested must also prove to be necessary for moderen society. The previous anti-trust suits are on the following of two basis. Lack of competition+Need for modern society. With Oil there is an obvious need for that product in modern society, with phones there was a need for it in modern society, and for OS software there is a need for it in modern society. NFL and MLB does not fill this area, so I highly doubt it will go through.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

The deal before the courts involves a temporary exclusive, though.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I'm sure there will be a counterclaim though if it doesnt pass.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

which means this probebly wont pass.

 
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Goth_SkunkIf nothing happens, as a result, then at least I point out the flaw of taking a stand against all harassment by revealing that it's okay to harass certain people when their viewpoints don't align with groupthink.05/30/2015 - 4:34pm
Goth_SkunkI figured, rather than keep taking it silently on the chin, as I have been, I instead should call it out, shine a big bright light on it, and loudly proclaim 'That's not okay. Stop it.'05/30/2015 - 4:33pm
Goth_Skunk@MechaCrash: While I am a proponent of growing a thicker skin, GamerGate has also opened my eyes to the widespread redefinition of harassment in an effort to stifle critical conversation. It shouldn't work, but it has been.05/30/2015 - 4:32pm
DocMelonheadPlus the constant Ad Hominem and Loaded Questions IP keeps on posting.05/30/2015 - 4:06pm
MattsworknameTo be honest, I think everyone gets worked up about there own personal causes, Ive done it to be sure. Ip just tends to do it all day everyday.05/30/2015 - 4:01pm
Andrew EisenNo problem. It's rarely an issue so it's not brought up much.05/30/2015 - 3:12pm
DocMelonheadsorry about that, it's just that it seems that IP wanted to make sure everyone knows that Gamergate were nothing but insecure harassers.05/30/2015 - 3:05pm
Andrew EisenFor instance, if everyone finds your comments annoying, try saying the same thing but in a different way. Who knows? Maybe a slight tweak in your approach to communicating will be all it takes to foster awesome and interesting discussions.05/30/2015 - 2:58pm
Andrew EisenDoc - I had to slightly edit a few of your comments. Please keep the heavier profanities out of the Shout box. And everyone, discussions are fine and dandy but do endeavor to keep things pleasant, okay?05/30/2015 - 2:51pm
DocMelonheadWhich is why I find him/her to be annoying as hell.05/30/2015 - 12:34pm
ConsterIP raises valid points sometimes, but they're drowned out by his "REPENT, SINNER!" attitude.05/30/2015 - 12:32pm
DocMelonheadOne of them were friend of those who got harassed by GameGate; another feel that GamerGate made it worst for people like her.05/30/2015 - 12:19pm
DocMelonheadI met several people at Boing Boing who have their own personal grude against them;05/30/2015 - 12:16pm
DocMelonheadSo, the question is this Iron Patriot, WHAT'S YOUR BEEF AGAINST GAMERGATE?05/30/2015 - 12:15pm
DocMelonheadThat's why many Anti-GG here see you as a JERK.05/30/2015 - 12:09pm
DocMelonheadSo in other words, You failed to keep a decent disscusion and proceed to talk down on those who argues against you.05/30/2015 - 12:08pm
DocMelonheadBut that's the thing, all you said that GamerGate is NOTHING BUT HARASSMENT AND VICTIM BLAMING05/30/2015 - 12:07pm
DocMelonheadAlso, IP you're no better than GamerGate; and yes, it ENABLE death threats, but not encourage them.05/30/2015 - 12:06pm
DocMelonheadSo who agree that the report buttion should be put back up.05/30/2015 - 12:05pm
DocMelonheadalso We all agree that you're annoy as heck IP05/30/2015 - 12:05pm
 

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